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Why Does My Air Conditioner Make Me Cough?

Why Does My Air Conditioner Make Me Cough?

home air cough new jerseyAir conditioning can be a real godsend during the peak summer months here in NJ. But occasionally A/C can give you more than you bargained for.

The truth is, sometimes we don’t feel so great when the A/C is constantly running – it can give us a sore throat or maybe even cause a nagging cough. The question is, why does this happen, and what can we do about it?

Let’s take a look.

Causes and Cures for an A/C Cough

If you are prone to getting coughs caused by your air conditioning, it’s usually due to one of two reasons: either your indoor is dirty, or it’s overly dry (or both!).

The good news is there are easy ways to fix each problem so you can be more comfortable in your space.

Problem 1: Dirty Air
home air cough new jersey


Indoor air can be full of dust, pet dander, and other allergens, which are often the underlying cause of your coughing fits. Whether you have a central air conditioning, a mini-split system, or window units, your air conditioner cleans your indoor air by pushing it through a filter before circulating in your home.

The problem is that filters are good at their job – which means they’ll trap a lot of those nasties and keep them from re-entering your space. Over time, they’ll capture so much material that they get clogged and stop doing their job – or worse, they’ll start pushing it back out into your home again!

The answer to this problem, of course, is to keep an eye on your air filters. A good rule of thumb is to check them every six weeks or so during the summer – especially if you have shedding pets. If your filter is clogged, clean or replace it (depending on the model – see your owner’s manual for instructions).

Another way to clean your air is to install a whole-house air purification system like the top-tier REME HALO® products we sell. These supplemental systems pick up where your air conditioning filters leave off, capturing the smallest of air purities and preventing allergens and microorganisms from growing in your home.
halo air purifier nj
Problem 2: Overly Dry Air


Summer air is naturally more humid than winter air – but that difference goes away when you constantly run the A/C. Air conditioners have a drying effect on your indoor air, which can create respiratory distress (including coughs).

You can make sure your air conditioner is not doing any more air drying than necessary by having it maintained by a home cooling professional every year. An experienced technician will keep your equipment in top shape, helping maintain proper humidity levels and air quality so you’ll stay healthy.

Is there an ideal home temperature to prevent coughing?

There may not be a “magic” indoor temperature that will end coughing in your home, but raising the temperature in your home can help.

When your A/C runs constantly, it pulls more moisture out of the air, and drier air makes coughing worse. If you find yourself contending with a dry, scratchy throat in the summer, adjust your thermostat so it’s closer to 75 degrees or higher. This will cause your central air conditioning to cycle less often and keep more moisture in your home.

You also might be able to avoid coughing by closing a couple of vents in your room.

Do whole-home humidifiers help with coughing?

Knowing that too-low humidity in your home can lead to excessive coughing, it makes sense to consider a humidification system. A whole-house humidifier connects directly to your home HVAC system and pumps just the right amount of water vapor into your air to keep you comfortable. (You control humidity from your thermostat, just like you control the temperature.)

The Mayo Clinic advises that humidifiers (when properly maintained) can soothe respiratory issues, including dry sinuses, bloody noses and cracked lips.

Is your air conditioning making you cough? Consider getting routine A/C maintenance or installing indoor air quality equipment from JW Pierson Co.! Contact us today to schedule service or get a FREE, no-obligation estimate on IAQ installations in NJ!